Saturday, August 27, 2016

Neely Cup Days One and Two Recap

Austin Adamson is trying out with Portland
It is officially hockey season as 85 hockey players converged on Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. The annual Neely Cup is currently taking place and the 85 players were split into four teams for the four day tournament.

I was unable to make the opening day of the tournament, but was able to go today and also plan on attending tomorrow and Sunday.
Here are the standings for the four teams after two days of back-to-back 30 minute games.

 Goal Leaders:
-Evan Weinger: 5
-Brad Ginnell: 3
-Brett Clayton: 2
Other scorers: Trevor Griebel, P.J. Fletcher, Connor Bowie, Holden Kodak, Skyler McKenzie, Owen Farris, Bronson Sharp, Easton Easterson, Codey Beaulieu, Ryan Hughes, Declan MacEachern, Conor MacEachern, Brendan Tendeck, Reece Newkirk, Kishaun Gervais, Justin Paul, Darren Gisti, Brendon Jorssen, Austin Daniels, Caleb Jones (shoot out winner).

Rather than break down the games, I thought I'd provide scouting reports (of a type) on some of the players that jumped out to me.
Signed Players:
-Evan Weinger (Team Hoyda):
He has been a training camp darling the last couple of seasons, but has taken it to another level at this camp. He has five goals in 120 minutes of total action and his line with unsigned 2001-born players Connor Bowie and Trevor Griebel was the most dominant during the entire day two. It seemed that every time they were on the ice, Team Currie was pinned deep. Weinger was a force, throwing the body around and always seemed to have the puck on his stick. On one of his goals he made a play to a team mate to the right side of the net and then posted with a shooting angle along the left goal line. He got a pass back and just buried a one-timer.
-Jackson Caller (Team Hoyda):
I had heard that he had been impressive on day one of the Neely Cup and saw much the same result during day two. He is an extremely smooth skater and pretty effortlessly, can recover for any small positioning mistakes he makes. He also drives possession well and was a threat to rush the puck a lot of the times he hit the opponent's blue line.
-Brad Ginnell (Team Currie):
The 2000-born forward seems a lock to make the opening night roster. He has a quick first step and showed off an incredibly accurate shot, to the extent of three goals in under 30 minutes Friday.
-Conor MacEachern (Team Currie):
On his goal, he showed great timing by jumping up into the rush and also showed nice touch, by wiring a shot over goalie Matt Radomsky's shoulder.
-Keoni Texeira (Team Currie):
He looks to have added on yet more muscle. He threw two of the bigger checks of the day; one on a 20-year-old (Austin Adamson) and one on a 15-year-old. So at least, he is an equal opportunity body-checker. The level of comfort he showed out there jumped out to me, Texeira just seemed to have command when he was out there. Calling for the puck from his partner and backing that request up, by making the right play out of the zone.
-Joachim Blichfeld (Team Ireland):
A very flashy forward, the Danish import was dangerous whenever he touched the puck. His curl, drag and shot with pressure on his back shoulder from the corner was something not a lot of players, even at this level can do and make look that smooth. I was looking for more from him during the shoot out at the end of the day, but he opted for a really slow skate in and just tried to go five-hole after very little panache. A good sign for me though, was how much his team mates looked for him when he was out there.
-Jake Gricius (Team Bandura):
Threw his body around a lot, which was good to see. During one sequence, he played the puck back to the point and then put himself in perfect position to both screen the goalie and set up a good tip-chance. The tip went wide, but the whole thing demonstrated to me his ability to use his size to create some scoring looks.
-Cody Glass (Team Bandura):
Had to be chomping at the bit after not playing Thursday. He was great through the neutral zone and helped create four different odd-man rushes. During one of them, he chose to shoot and hit the post and on the two others his line mate was unable to finish the play. On the last one, his pass was a little off.
-Austin Adamson (Team Hoyda):
The overage forward has jumped around the WHL, with previous stops in Saskatoon, Red Deer and Swift Current. He was not invited back to the Broncos and is being given a chance to earn one of two possible, overage openings. I definitely expected him, as an older, WHL-veteran to jump out to me and he really didn't do that too much. He had one opportunity to impress as he skated in on the right wing alone, but, he could not fit the puck over the goalie's right pad. Adamson, as a player who has signed a WHL standard player agreement, is eligible for WHL-preseason action. The Hawks may want to see more from him and keep him around for the tournaments in Everett and Kennewick.
Unsigned Players:
-Trevor Griebel (Team Hoyda):
2001-born prospect out of the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes' program. He was very quick and showcased a lot of creativity.
-Joshua Kroon (Team Bandura):
2000-born prospect out of the AC Avalanche program. On a defensive unit that had Carter Czaikowski and Caleb Jones, Kroon's positioning and plays out of his own zone, rate right up there with the two WHL-veterans.
Evan Fradette (Team Currie):
2001-born prospect out of the St. Albert Sabres. The goalie did a really great job of being confident in his positioning and getting his body in a spot, where he could flare out a pad rather easily and make a save.
Ty Kolle (Team Ireland):
Portland's top pick in the 2015 bantam draft showed incredible burst as he flew past several opponents and into their zone with the puck on his stick. He tried to stick handle around the last defender and could not keep possession. There seems to be some work to be done on his hands, but the fact that the speed is there on such a young player, is enough to warrant a longer look in the preseason, in my opinion.

I'll bring more after Saturday's games and look forward to seeing more from the unsigned prospects during the weekend's action..

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Final Thoughts on the National Junior Evaluation Camp

The National Junior Evaluation Camp concluded over the weekend and I finally found the time to share my thoughts on the WHL and Portland Winterhawks' players that were there.

Caleb Jones (USA):
-Jones was solid for the U.S. throughout the camp. He seems to have made some pretty big strides in the off-season in his overall defensive positioning and strength. He did not get caught out of position very often and sometimes was able to adjust and cover for his defensive partner. Of all of the d-men in attendance for the U.S., Jones was perhaps the most consistent in both ends. After making it past the cuts last summer, only to not receive an invite to the U.S.'s final camp last December, Jones looks to finally be a lock for the team that will be going to Toronto and Montreal for the U-20 WJC's this year. I especially liked his pairing with Boston University d-man Charlie McAvoy. The first-round pick of the Boston Bruins and Jones seemed to have good chemistry. They did play for the USNTDP at the same time, so are probably pretty familiar with how each other plays. Look for this to be a top-four pairing for the U.S. this winter in Canada.

Henri Jokiharju (Finland):
-I am really excited to see Henri put on a Portland sweater later this month (okay-a practice jersey for the Neely Cup first). His strengths and Mike Johnston's system appear to be a perfect fit. He skates really well and often uses his speed to recover when he is out of position, which happened fairly often at the NJEC. His positioning will need work as he adjusts to the North-American ice surface, but I'm confident he will pick it up pretty quickly. The fact that he logged serious minutes for the U-20 team at this camp, while being a '99 birth-year guy is very impressive. The camp was stocked with first-round NHL-draft picks who were one and two years older than him and he did not look out of place at all. In fact, as the camp went along, he started to look more confident and comfortable, taking more offensive chances and throwing his slight body around more. He also was able to get this shot through from the point with more consistency as the camp went on. His slap shot is not very accurate, but his placement on his wrist shot from the point is pinpoint accurate. Often great rebound chances were created by his deft shot. A possible pairing with Jones on the first-unit power play could very well be one of the better ones in the WHL, once he gets used to playing in the WHL. I think his prospects of being a top NHL draft pick next summer were definitely helped by his camp and the fact that a lot of NHL scouts, general managers and coaches were in Plymouth taking it in.

Kieffer Bellows (USA):
-Bellows is a great sniper who fairly soon could be part of a nice duo with Mathew Barzal for the N.Y. Islanders. I'm fairly confident that he won't stay long with Boston University, but jumping up to the Isles' is far more likely than playing in the WHL with Portland. He will be a big "what might've been" for Portland as what impact Mike Johnston had would have had on recruiting him to Portland can never really be known outside of the Bellows household.

Jake Oettinger (USA):
-Another Portland prospect that is headed to Boston University this fall. He is a late birth date, so he is not eligible to be drafted until the 2017 NHL draft. I really liked what I saw out of the big goalie over the duration of the camp. He goes down pretty quickly for a guy who is 6'4" and covers his angles pretty well. I think he will make the final squad for Team USA as Tyler Parsons' backup. That way he will gain some experience and have a good shot at being the starter at the 2018 WJCs.

Kailer Yamamoto (USA):
-The Spokane Chiefs' forward started out the NJEC with a couple of incredible games. This got him a spot playing on the U.S.'s top line with Bellows and Clayton Keller. In the first period of his first game with them, though. he ran a Swedish d-man and gained a 10-minute game misconduct. I think I counted only a few shifts that he skated for the rest of the game. After that, he was moved back to fourth-line minutes and likely moved himself out of contention for a spot on the roster this winter. I think if he starts tearing up the WHL at the start of the season, he could get another chance at the camp in December and maybe earn a spot as the extra, energy-type forward. This is the spot that Chase De Leo and Scott Eansor had for the U.S,. over the last two WJCs, though they were both centers, while Kailer is a winger.

Juuso Valimaki (Finland):
-The Tri-City Americans' d-man had a horrendous start to the camp but got much better over the last three games. Over the first two games, he was constantly out of position and made a lot of mistakes in his own zone. Then, he looked to have calmed down quite a bit and made simpler and smarter plays in his own zone, leading to fewer turnovers. He took a hit in his own zone to flip the puck out, which helped set up the equalizing goal for Finland in their win over Canada and scored a goal off a wrist shot from the point in their OT loss to Sweden. Valimaki is a play-maker, who should get a lot of first-round level interest from NHL teams in next June's draft and his last three games will help make up for the first two and keep him in contention to be drafted there. The sheer amount of scouts coming out to Eastern Washington to watch Yamamoto and T.C.'s Michael Rasmussen, should give him a lot more opportunities to impress particular scouts. He could also be paired consistently with N.Y. Islanders' signed d-man Parker Wotherspoon, which should allow him to jump up and make eye-catching offensive plays.

Carter Hart (Canada):
-He had the worst camp of any U.S. Division player in Plymouth. He gave up an early, weak goal and never seemed to recover. Overall, he played most of one game (a 5-1 loss to Sweden) and gave up four goals on only 20 shots. I don't think this damaged his stock so much that he will be out of the running for Canada come December, but it certainly didn't cement his standing as the starter. Overall, as reigning CHL Goalie of the Year, he was the favorite coming into camp, to be the starter. Sweden beat him twice in tight up over his left shoulder and so was looking to take advantage of a seeming gap in his coverage. I have some concerns about how mentally-tough Hart is as over the past two seasons, he had a fair share of really bad games. I think he got pulled a total of six times against Portland over his two WHL seasons, so there's a chance that I have a bad impression of him. However, there is still some signs that sometimes he can let a poor game, turn into an awful one, by compiling more than one bad goal.

Evan Sarthou (USA):
-It probably isn't a great sign that the Tri-City goalie did not see any ice after the two teams were put together. The three other goalies all saw some ice-time, while he was relegated to backup duty.

Noah Juulsen (Canada):
-I was really surprised to see him left off of the Canadian team last year, but after watching him play a few games at the NJEC, I'm starting to see why he's not necessarily a guy Hockey Canada loves. Juulsen was out of position quite a few times and often struggled in zone exits under heavy pressure. His powerful slap shot was never really uncorked and he never really looked comfortable out there. I was far more impressed with right-handed Kelowna Rockets' d-man Cal Foote in all of these aspects of the game. It could be that Juulsen earns his way onto the team, by having a great WHL season, but right now I would probably leave him off the team.

 Keegan Kolesar (Canada):
-While Juulsen moved down the Canadian depth chart for me, Kolesar moved up it. His line with Tampa Bay prospects Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph was one of Canada's best and has the size to be a strong checking line that still has the pop to provide some scoring. Kolesar is one of the best net-front presences in the WHL, because of his size and great hands and he was great at the camp when put in this role as well. If Mathew Barzal returns to play for Canada, he also provides Hockey Canada with a guy who has chemistry with one of their best centers from their time together with Seattle. Overall, I think his camp earned him a spot on the U-20 team. He doesn't have much international experience, but Hockey Canada seems to not take this into consideration as much as USA Hockey does.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Spokane's Yamamoto Shines for USA White at Day Two of the NJEC

The second day of the annual National Junior Evaluation Camp took place Monday in Plymouth, Michigan and plenty of players with Portland Winterhawks and WHL ties were present. Even more WHLers are set to join Wednesday when Canada sends their continent in. I was able to watch both games online and have some thoughts on a bunch of the players. Every single one of the players that I have been following closely survived the cuts to the roster that acted as a way to combine the USA Blue and USA White squads into one team of 17 forwards, 11 defensemen and four goalies (no goalies were cut).

USA Blue 6 Sweden 4:
The split-squad USA Blue team finished with a 2-0 record and scored a total of 14 goals in their two games. St. Louis Blues' prospect Tage Thompson followed up his hat-trick on Sunday with two more goals, including the eventual game-winner. In a reversal of what happened Sunday vs. Team USA White, Sweden jumped out to a 2-0 lead, before allowing USA Blue to storm back and score three in-a-row. From that point, they mostly traded goals, until Thompson put it away late. 
Caleb Jones (USA Blue):
-He played with pretty much every d-man on the USA Blue roster, as the coaches mixed things up searching for some chemistry. Jones looked to have scored to give USA Blue their first lead of the game, but a second look via replay showed that he struck the right post, before the puck bounced off of goalie Adam Werner and to the ice, where Toronto Maple Leafs' prospect Jeremy Bracco poked it home. As nice as the goal would have been, I was most impressed by Jones's ability to read the play and jump on a line-changing Sweden squad, in order to create a three-on-two rush. From there he picked his spot and very nearly potted his first goal of the camp. I am growing increasingly more confident that Jones will make the final Team USA World Juniors' roster, as he has been one of their most consistent d-men at the camp so far. He currently sits fifth on the team in shots on goal through two games with eight and all of those chances that he took, were low-risk, high-reward type looks; when Sweden was changing or out of position and had little hope of counter-attacking against an out-of-position Jones. Perhaps Jones's best play of the game, was paying the price in his own zone, by taking a vicious check into the boards, in order to get the puck out of the zone, leading to Thompson's empty-netter. Caleb's one minus in the game was due to a bad bounce at his own blue line, which ended up with a two-on-zero and Sweden's second goal. In my opinion, he was interfered with on the play as the non-puck carrying Swedish forward picked him off, so his teammate could go in alone. However, the non-call ended up not really playing a role in the final outcome of an exhibition game, so I'll let it go.
Jake Oettinger (USA Blue):
-The Portland prospect was not as great in his second game, particularly on Sweden's first goal, where he seemed to struggle tracking the puck. A wrist shot from the far right, near the blue line, is something I expect an elite junior goalie to stop and he didn't. He did not have much of a chance on the second goal and was not challenged too much beyond that. Overall, he stopped 19 of 21 shots and 32 of 34 shots over his two halves played. That's a 0.942 save percentage against some pretty good competition. I would have to say that right now, he is my favorite to start for Team USA, but overall the positions on this roster, I have been least impressed by the goalies. There is definitely room for someone to come out of nowhere and be invited to the final camp in December.
Evan Sarthou (USA Blue):
-The Tri-City goalie was a little better in game two and he looked more confident out there. He faced better looks than Oettinger did and mostly stood his ground. Sweden did a really good job of creating a lot of traffic around his feet and he was strong in his net and found the garbage before their forwards did. Both of the goals he gave up were of the top-corner variety, where I would have been astounded if he made the stop. Sweden has some elite snipers and they showed off their stuff picking both the right corner and the left corner on their two goals on Sarthou. Late in a tight game, Sarthou stood tall and made three saves in a row during one penalty kill. 

USA White 8 Finland 2:
One day after USA Blue scored eight goals on Finland, USA White did the same. What's strange is both times, Finland scored all of their goals, before their competition scored any. Monday, the Finns scored on the power play and added an even strength goal, before the game was 15 minutes old. Then USA White took over, led by two goals and three assists from N.Y. Islanders' draft pick and Portland prospect Kieffer Bellows and three points from linemate and Arizona Coyotes' draft pick Clayton Keller. The two were paired together, along with USA Blue's Joey Anderson, while playing for the USANTDP and there is some obvious chemistry there.
Henri Jokiharju (Finland):
-The 1999 born defenseman looked a lot more confident in his second game, as he settled into battling a team loaded with elite offensive talent. His only major miscue was on a failed clearance that led to USA White's eighth and final goal. His biggest improvements in his two games, for me, was while playing on the second unit power play. He constantly moved around between the two points and had the puck on his stick multiple times, leading to a couple strong Finnish looks. I also enjoyed his toughness out there as he was giving 30-40 lbs to a lot of the forwards he was battling in front of the net and he just kept battling, showing a lot of lower body strength and good stick positioning in moving some of them out of his goalie's line of sight.
Kailer Yamamoto (USA White):
-He had the highlight of the day for me, as he was carrying the puck, heading away from the net, towards the left corner of the attacking zone, when he stomped on the brakes and spun around towards the net, setting up Bellows for USA White's seventh goal. With his slick move, he left Finnish d-man Jarkko Parikka flat on the ice. It was the hockey equivalent of basketball's: "breaking someone's ankles." Yamamoto also scored a goal as he went to a tough area in front of the net and poked home a pass from Bellows. The Spokane Chief forward has three points in his two games, but more importantly, he keeps getting moved up the line up. He started out the camp on the fourth line and by the end of Monday's game was playing on the top line with Bellows and Keller. USA White had tried out a couple bigger forwards with the smallish Bellows and Keller, but ended up with the 5'8" Yamamoto, who is pound for pound the toughest guy on the team. He provided the net-front presence a few times while his team was on the power play and took a ton of punishment on doing so. He, very likely, has risen on Team USA's depth chart and could find himself representing his country this winter. It certainly does not hurt his draft stock, that he's putting this performance on while some of the NHL's general managers and coaches are watching.
Kieffer Bellows (USA White):
-Bellows led team blue in scoring with six points in two games and is a complete lock for the WJCs. One thing I noticed from this game, was his tenacity. He definitely plays with more of an edge then I was expecting. Several times I noticed him return a check to whomever had just checked him. His one-touch passing with Keller is elite level and the young Finnish d-corps had absolutely no hope of containing them in this game.
Juuso Valimaki (Finland):
-While I have come away, more or less, impressed with most of the players I've been watching closely, Valimaki has not been one of them. This is a great opportunity for him to impress all of the NHL minds in the crowd and he has not done that. It seemed to me like he took Finland getting pushed around in the previous game to heart and went out of his way to throw a lot more checks in this game. Often though, he took himself out of position to make the hit. He was certainly not Finland's worst d-men out there as even their NHL-drafted d-men looked mediocre, but he was out there for several of USA White's goals and was victimized by the Bellows-Keller combo a couple times. He will need a much better game against Canada tomorrow to start to change some of the negative opinions he's likely been creating in the crowd.

USA Cuts:

-Joey Anderson (NHL-drafted by New Jersey, WHL-drafted by Brandon) and Max Jones (NHL-drafted by Anaheim) were the biggest surprises for me of the cuts. Anderson has some natural chemistry with Bellows and Keller  and it seemed that USA might just roll with that as one of their lines. I think if you are Kailer Yamamoto, you can read the Anderson cut as Team USA giving you every opportunity to play with those two and solidify yourselves as a set lien for the WJCs.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bellows Impresses at Day One of USA's NJEC

Lots of players with connections to the Winterhawks and the WHL were in action Sunday as part of national camps. Current Winterhawks Caleb Jones, Henri Joikiharju and Cody Glass were just two of those players. First, Portland Winterhawks' drafted prospect Kieffer Bellows and current Spokane Chief Kailer Yamamoto suited up for Team USA White as they took on Sweden's national team at the first game of the National Junior Evaluation Camp (NJEC).
Sweden 6 Team USA White 3:
-This game was truly a tale of two halves. USA White dominated the early play and posted a 3-1 lead before Sweden got to work and ran off five goals in a row for the 6-3 win.
Kieffer Bellows:
-How can we get this guy to forego his college commitment with Boston University and sign with Portland? Seriously, what do we have to do? He simply is a pure scorer, who should be able to convert it to the NHL level very soon. This is the first time I've seen him play and he did not disappoint. Bellows was drafted in the first round of this last NHL draft by the N.Y. Islanders, so Portland's best route to obtaining him would be them to sign him, making him ineligible for the NCAA. He scored USA White's first goal on a one-timer off a terrific feed from d-man J.D. Greenway and nearly had another as his shot was trickling over the goal line, when a Swedish d-man swept it away. Bellows has some natural chemistry with USANTDP linemate Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes' draft pick) and it showed. The two, along with Vancouver Canucks' prospect Brock Boeser (WHL rights owned by Seattle) were the team's most dangerous line.
Kailer Yamamoto:
-The Spokane native is on his way to being the highest NHL-drafted player from the state of Washington next June, in my opinion. Though he looked undersized out there, the late '98 born Yamamoto did not look out of place. He started out on the team's fourth line before getting bumped up to the third line, to play with Rem Pitlick (WHL rights owned by Prince George-drafted by Nashville) and Troy Terry (drafted by Anaheim). If Bellows' line was USA White's best, Yamamoto's may have been their second-best. Yamamoto got an assist on USA White's third goal. As he entered the zone with the puck he deftly dropped a pass to Ryan Lindgren (WHL rights owned by Brandon-drafted by Boston), who got a great looking shot on net that ended with Terry scoring on a scramble in front. Yamamoto is a passionate player, who can be a nightmare for d-men trying to get the puck out of their own zone. He can take bad penalties sometimes, but this is a gamble a lot of coaches will be willing to take. With a roster this stacked, Yamamoto's best chance to make the team, in my opinion, is as an energetic fourth-line player. Despite not scoring in this game, he had three different great looks that Swedish goalie Felix Sandstrom (drafted by Philadelphia) stopped. Two of those were absolute gems of saves.

Next up  on Sunday was Caleb Jones, prospect Jake Oettinger and Tri-City Americans' goalie Evan Sarthou for Team USA Blue, taking on Henri Jokiharju and Tri-City d-man Juuso Valimaki for Finland.
Team USA Blue 8 Finland 1:
The USA fell behind early, but then slowly took over behind a hat-trick by Tage Thompson (drafted by St. Louis) and two goals from Tom Novak (drafted by Nashville).
Caleb Jones:
-After hanging around development camp last year, yet not getting an invite for December's final camp, you had to know Caleb would come ready to do whatever the coaches wanted, in order to make the team. His defensive pairing with Sean Day (drafted by N.Y. Rangers) was USA Blue's most consistent all game. Jones played a more conservative style then we are used to seeing in Portland, but still found a way to get a couple good offensive looks. Interestingly enough, both of his shots were on shorthanded rushes up the ice. Both times, he was giving his team the chance to switch out tired penalty killers and he still got great looks. At last year's camp, he got caught out of position quite a few times. That was not the case even once on Sunday. He has made large strides defensively in that time and looks to have packed on another 10-15 lbs of muscle as well. I am looking for Caleb to be one of the best d-men in the WHL this season and he did nothing on Sunday to discourage that lofty expectation.
Jake Oettinger:
-Jake is a late '98, so he is not eligible to be drafted until next June. He has committed to Boston University, just like Bellows and fellow Portland prospect Henry Crone. He stopped all 13 shots he faced and never really looked like he needed to try that hard to stop them. He is 6'4", so he covers a lot of the net, but he also ha  surprising amount of athleticism. One left pad kick save really stood out to me, as he quickly turned away what looked like a sure goal for Finland. Oettinger was the most impressive and had the best numbers of the four U.S. goalies in action Sunday.
Henri Jokiharju:
-This was my first look at Portland's recently signed import defenseman. Since he is a '99 born player, I was pretty surprised that he was with the U-20 team. He is still eligible for the U-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament, but apparently is in the running to compete for the U-20 WJC defending champion roster. Jokiharju is really under-sized out there, when playing against 18 and 19-year-olds, but it never really was a detriment in this game, despite the score. I really do not think that he was to blame for any of USA Blue's goals and that says something as Finnish d-men as a unit had a truly awful game. They were really poor at covering passes to players in front of the net, essentially giving them a lot of slam-dunk style goals. Jokiharju was out there on the left-defense on Finland's second power play unit and got two of his three shots on net, while on the man-advantage. He does a really good job of getting shots through and on net, even with high pressure from shot-blocking forwards. He even used his small size in a positive way, by initiating some rough stuff with USA Blue's Riley Tufte, which ended with Jokiharju getting checked in the back and going down. I think a larger player would not have been knocked down by the shot, which was all the better for Henri and Finland.
Evan Sarthou:
-The Tri-City goalie exhibited both his best and worst sides Sunday. He got caught out of position on Finland's only goal, as he slid way too far to his left on a two-on-one, allowing an easy goal into an empty net. After that early goal, he settled down and stopped every shot he faced (nine saves on ten total shots). His positioning was great and he seemed to do a really great job of anticipating where each shot was come from.
Juuso Valimaki:
-Honestly, I did not notice him that much. He is expected to be a possible first round pick next June, but needs to be a little more consistent then he was last season in order for that to happen. He's probably far more likely to represent Finland then Jokiharju is at the WJCs, but Henri was honestly better on Sunday.

Canada White 5 Canada Red 2:
Cody Glass:
-I was not able to watch as much of this game as I did the other two, but Cody played right wing on Canada White's top line, along with fellow WHL players Brett Davis (Lethbridge) and Stelio Matheos (Brandon). Glass seemed to be a magnet for the puck from what I saw and did a really good job of taking the play that was there, rather than trying to do too much. I've always thought that the national team coaches respect that Glass is a responsible player. He plays well on both ends of the ice and though he does not make too many spectacular plays, he always seems to make the right play given whatever situation he is in. This is likely the reason, he has made most of the national teams that he's tried out for.